. . .well I'm so glad you asked. Seven minutes from the Historic District, 15 minutes from Tybee, 6 minutes from Oglethorpe mall (timed it all in my Fiat500c) - Cohen's Retreat is the magnificent brain child of Colleen Smith and Karen Langston - owner/operators of "Savannah Plush" - a fine home furnishing and textile company still in its formative stages - but soon to be a serious player in the design community. This beautiful old 12,000 square foot building was once "The Cohen Old Man's Retreat". But it is being reinvented - becoming a design oasis nestled amongst the spanish moss draped live oaks off of Skidaway Road.
While originally beautiful and elite in its heyday - it fell into disrepair. It was later purchased and rehabbed to become a furniture store but when it closed its doors - it was again left purposeless until scooped up by Karen and Colleen who are turning the abandoned campus with its beautiful columns and numerous exterior cottages into an artisan/design destination. With a January grand opening date - so far . . . the main building will be home to Savannah Plush HQ , interior designers Stephanie Talavast and Curry & Co., Form Restaurant and Cafe, "Art Tank" (that needs its own post) and of course - FOWD Artisan Upholstery Workshop!!!
Much work still needs to be done on many of the spaces, but momentum is picking up as fall approaches. The whole idea of the campus is ever-evolving - improving and the newly developing Cohen's business family is such an eclectic, fun and encouraging one. The idea being to support and collaborate with one another - allowing each separate business to create beautiful things and develop an innovative design locale conveniently located to all Savannah.
The cottages behind the main building are leasing quickly - with a potpourri of design oriented small businesses - photo stylists, prop stylists, artists, designers - you name it. My own Kevin Richardson - will soon be opening his game design studio adjacent to my workshop space but again - separate post needed - I just can't contain my excitement at all the positive changes on the horizon!